November 18, 2019

1 Maccabees 1:10-15, 41-43, 54-57, 62-63

From them came forth a sinful root, Antiochus Epiphanes, son of King Antiochus; he had been a hostage in Rome. He began to reign in the one hundred thirty-seventh year of the kingdom of the Greeks.

In those days certain renegades came out from Israel and misled many, saying, “Let us go and make a covenant with the Gentiles around us, for since we separated from them many disasters have come upon us.” This proposal pleased them, and some of the people eagerly went to the king, who authorized them to observe the ordinances of the Gentiles. So they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, according to Gentile custom, and removed the marks of circumcision, and abandoned the holy covenant. They joined with the Gentiles and sold themselves to do evil.

Then the king wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people, and that all should give up their particular customs. All the Gentiles accepted the command of the king. Many even from Israel g...

November 17, 2019

Malachi 4:1-2A

See, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings. 

Psalm 98:5-9

Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,
with the lyre and the sound of melody.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord.

Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
the world and those who live in it.
Let the floods clap their hands;
let the hills sing together for joy
at the presence of the Lord, for he is coming
to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with equity.

2 Thessalonians 3:7-12

For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us; we were not idle when we were with you, and we did not eat anyone’s bread without paying for it; but with toil and la...

November 16, 2019

Wisdom 18:14-16, 19:6-9

For while gentle silence enveloped all things,
and night in its swift course was now half gone,
your all-powerful word leaped from heaven, from the royal throne,
into the midst of the land that was doomed,
a stern warrior
carrying the sharp sword of your authentic command,
and stood and filled all things with death,
and touched heaven while standing on the earth.

For the whole creation in its nature was fashioned anew,

complying with your commands,

so that your children might be kept unharmed.

The cloud was seen overshadowing the camp,

and dry land emerging where water had stood before,

an unhindered way out of the Red Sea,

and a grassy plain out of the raging waves,

where those protected by your hand passed through as one nation,

after gazing on marvelous wonders.

For they ranged like horses,

and leaped like lambs,

praising you, O Lord, who delivered them.

Psalm 105: 2-3, 36-37, 42-43

Sing to him, sing praises to him;
    tell of all his wonderful works.

Glory i...

November 15, 2019

Wisdom 13: 1-9

For all people who were ignorant of God were foolish by nature;

and they were unable from the good things that are seen to know the one who exists,

nor did they recognize the artisan while paying heed to his works;

but they supposed that either fire or wind or swift air,

or the circle of the stars, or turbulent water,

or the luminaries of heaven were the gods that rule the world.

If through delight in the beauty of these things people assumed them to be gods,

let them know how much better than these is their Lord,

for the author of beauty created them.

And if people were amazed at their power and working,

let them perceive from them

how much more powerful is the one who formed them.

For from the greatness and beauty of created things

comes a corresponding perception of their Creator.

Yet these people are little to be blamed,

for perhaps they go astray

while seeking God and desiring to find him.

For while they live among his works, they keep searching,

and they trust in what they see, becau...

November 14, 2019

Wisdom 7:22B–8:1

In Wisdom is a spirit

that is intelligent, holy,
unique, manifold, subtle,
mobile, clear, unpolluted,
distinct, invulnerable, loving the good, keen,
irresistible, beneficent, humane,
steadfast, sure, free from anxiety,
all-powerful, overseeing all,
and penetrating through all spirits
that are intelligent, pure, and altogether subtle.
For wisdom is more mobile than any motion;
because of her pureness she pervades and penetrates all things.
For she is a breath of the power of God,
and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty;
therefore nothing defiled gains entrance into her.
For she is a reflection of eternal light,
a spotless mirror of the working of God,
and an image of his goodness.
Although she is but one, she can do all things,
and while remaining in herself, she renews all things;
in every generation she passes into holy souls
and makes them friends of God, and prophets;
for God loves nothing so much as the person who lives with wisdom.
She is more beautiful th...

November 13, 2019

Wisdom 6:1-11

Listen therefore, O kings, and understand;

learn, O judges of the ends of the earth.

Give ear, you that rule over multitudes,

and boast of many nations.

For your dominion was given you from the Lord,

and your sovereignty from the Most High;

he will search out your works and inquire into your plans.

Because as servants of his kingdom you did not rule rightly,

or keep the law,

or walk according to the purpose of God,

he will come upon you terribly and swiftly,

because severe judgment falls on those in high places.

For the lowliest may be pardoned in mercy,

but the mighty will be mightily tested.

For the Lord of all will not stand in awe of anyone,

or show deference to greatness;

because he himself made both small and great,

and he takes thought for all alike.

But a strict inquiry is in store for the mighty.

To you then, O monarchs, my words are directed,

so that you may learn wisdom and not transgress.

For they will be made holy who observe holy things in holiness,

and those who have been taught...

November 12, 2019

Wisdom 2:23 - 3:9

For God created us for incorruption,
and made us in the image of his own eternity,
but through the devil’s envy death entered the world,
and those who belong to his company experience it.

But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God,
and no torment will ever touch them.
In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died,
and their departure was thought to be a disaster,
and their going from us to be their destruction;
but they are at peace.


For though in the sight of others they were punished,
their hope is full of immortality.
Having been disciplined a little, they will receive great good,
because God tested them and found them worthy of himself;
like gold in the furnace he tried them,
and like a sacrificial burnt offering he accepted them.
In the time of their visitation they will shine forth,
and will run like sparks through the stubble.


They will govern nations and rule over peoples,
and the Lord will reign over them forever.
Those who trust in him will un...

November 11, 2019

Wisdom 1:1-7

Love righteousness, you rulers of the earth,
think of the Lord in goodness
and seek him with sincerity of heart;
because he is found by those who do not put him to the test,
and manifests himself to those who do not distrust him.
For perverse thoughts separate people from God,
and when his power is tested, it exposes the foolish;
because wisdom will not enter a deceitful soul,
or dwell in a body enslaved to sin.
For a holy and disciplined spirit will flee from deceit,
and will leave foolish thoughts behind,
and will be ashamed at the approach of unrighteousness.

For wisdom is a kindly spirit,
but will not free blasphemers from the guilt of their words;
because God is witness of their inmost feelings,
and a true observer of their hearts, and a hearer of their tongues.
Because the spirit of the Lord has filled the world,
and that which holds all things together knows what is said.

Psalm 139:1-10

O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise...

November 10, 2019

2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14

It happened also that seven brothers and their mother were arrested and were being compelled by the king, under torture with whips and thongs, to partake of unlawful swine’s flesh. One of them, acting as their spokesman, said, “What do you intend to ask and learn from us? For we are ready to die rather than transgress the laws of our ancestors.”

And when he was at his last breath, he said, “You accursed wretch, you dismiss us from this present life, but the King of the universe will raise us up to an everlasting renewal of life, because we have died for his laws.”

After him, the third was the victim of their sport. When it was demanded, he quickly put out his tongue and courageously stretched forth his hands, and said nobly, “I got these from Heaven, and because of his laws I disdain them, and from him I hope to get them back again.” As a result the king himself and those with him were astonished at the young man’s spirit, for he regarded his sufferings as nothing....

November 9, 2019

Ezekiel 47: 1-2, 8-9, 12 

Then he brought me back to the entrance of the temple; there, water was flowing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east); and the water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar. Then he brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me around on the outside to the outer gate that faces toward the east; and the water was coming out on the south side.

He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah; and when it enters the sea, the sea of stagnant waters, the water will become fresh. Wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish, once these waters reach there. It will become fresh; and everything will live where the river goes. 

On the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither nor their fruit fa...

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